Potteries of Trenton Society

New Jersey Ceramics Symposium

Filling America’s Cupboards:
New Jersey’s Nineteenth-Century Earthenwares

2nd Annual Symposium of the Potteries of Trenton Society

For a second year the Potteries of Trenton Society (POTS) will team with the New Jersey Historical Society (NJHS) to offer a day-long series of lectures on New Jersey’s ceramic industry. Filling America’s Cupboards: New Jersey’s Nineteenth-Century Earthenwares will bring together historians, archaeologists and collectors to discuss New Jersey’s nineteenth-century earthenware industry and its important role in supplying sturdy table, kitchen, and sanitary wares to America’s households. The program is open to the public.

Program Schedule

9:00-10:00 am

Coffee and Continental Breakfast

10:00-10:40 pm Richard Hunter
Country Pottery, City Factory: Industrializing New Jersey Earthenwares
10:40-11:20 am

Emma Lewis
Fancy Rockingham: A Virtual Tour of the Exhibition at the University of Richmond

11:20-12:00 pm

Jane Claney
Please Spit in [this] Box: Refinement and other Rockingham-Ware Contributions to American Culture

12:00-1:30 pm Break for Lunch
2:00-2:40 pm Rebecca White
Rebekah at the Marriott: Identifying Trenton’s Rockingham from Archaeological Evidence
2:40-3:20 pm William B. Liebeknecht
Mayer’s Unmarked Majolica: Trenton’s Treasures Revealed
3:20-4:00 pm

Ellen Denker
Jersey City’s Ivory White Ware and America’s China Painters

4:00-4:30 pm

Closing Reception

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Archaeologist Richard W. Hunter will present an overview of the earthenware industry in New Jersey, followed by art historian and collector Emma Lewis, who will give a virtual tour of “Fancy Rockingham,” an exhibition currently on view at the University of Richmond. Rockingham is the name for kitchen and table crockery with a mottled brown glaze that was popular in America from the 1840s to 1900. Historian Jane Claney, author of Rockingham Ware in American Culture 1830-1930, will examine the way mundane rockingham wares, such as cuspidors, pitchers, teapots and bowls, expressed cultural identity. Copies of her book, published in 2004 by the University Press of New England, will be available for purchase in the Society’s gift shop.

After a break for lunch, the symposium will resume in the afternoon when archaeologist Rebecca White will discuss the yellow ware industry in Trenton, followed by archaeologist William Liebeknecht, who will examine Trenton’s colorful majolica products, focusing on recent discoveries of the Mayer pottery. Historian Ellen Denker will finish the symposium by exploring the way independent china decorators across the country used the cream-colored earthenware blanks produced in Jersey